I have been asked both by attorneys and clients why is there such a wide variation of attorneys’ fees when it comes to bankruptcy. This is a very valid question. In our case, we charge fee so that we can provide dependable and qualitative legal services to our client, and do not shut our doors on various pretext to tell them to go to somewhere else or you did not sign up for that’ and expect more money. We do not do that period. We suggest fee should not be only criteria for your engaging a lawyer.
You should know precisely, if your bankruptcy attorney has any experience if things go bad, and he would not ditch you in the cold at the mercy of strong winds and inclement weather? Of course, we charge reasonable fees because in many cases clients can afford it. We, do however, have our share of pro bono cases where we do not charge anything.
You can check out the attorneys by their website, reviews and of course a website called AVVO.Com and see how this attorney has replied to various questions.
In our case, you are welcome to check our website and ask us any question (www.fastbankruptcynevada.com) Also, you should meet this attorney and possibly see his office and what kind of help he has employed. Financial affairs can ruin, and the clients requires help in this complex bizarre of facts, information and data, and needs to starts his/her life afresh.
Why Lawyers Charge Low Fees?
I guess prime reason is that they want to attract more business mostly volume based business. After all, we live in a competitive economy.
But competition does not mean compromising quality. Basically bankruptcy practice is not very lucrative work because it is complex, boring and sometime annoying. So, if one does not get enough work, he/she can work on pittance. On average, an attorney spends anywhere 12-15 hours on bankruptcy paperwork, filing, courts’ timing, and if things go bad, than an enormous amount of work on top of that. I don’t know how these bankruptcy attorneys can work on such a low figure unless they do not tell the truth, and indulge in what is commonly called “bait and switch tactics’.
You should also check the (a) disciplinary history (2) experience (3) Endorsements; and (4) meet them in person to get a first hand picture of themselves, and of course (5) client reviews.
I see many times ads in Craigslist for a very cheap price for a bankruptcy attorney. Sometime $599 and sometime $499. Why so cheap? We all are attracted towards very cheap price. After all, we live in a capitalistic society. However, bankruptcy is like a brain surgery as this would do a major surgery on your credit rating, future transactions, and if it can save your exempt assets and keep them clear from the ever reaching hands of a very diligent Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 trustee. Would you hire a brain surgeon who is cheap or a brain surgeon who is good, experienced and hardworking? Remember, this is about your financial health which should be equally important to you like your physical health. Let me give you some rules to weed out a cheap bankruptcy attorneys compared to a good bankruptcy attorney. Remember, bankruptcy may last some 10 years, and do not do anything which can jeopardize your rights for the next 10 years.
1. Good bankruptcy attorneys do not shout their dirt cheap rates and continuously advertise them. Because they do not have dearth of clients. They are very busy because they are good quality bankruptcy lawyers.
2. A cheap bankruptcy attorney would continuously lower his rate to find clients. Yet, you would not find any quality. It is the difference between quality and quantity. Remember, quality cannot be measured, it is countless and priceless, while the quantity can be measured. What exactly you want? A qualitative or quantitative difference?
3. A cheap bankruptcy attorney may hide the real fee and clothe it in many layers. You may not find out until the very end. He/she had a long lists of disclaimers or fine prints, hidden somewhere which an ordinary person cannot easily discover until it is too late.
4. Find out if this continuously dirt cheap attorney has a malpractice insurance because in case he/she mess up, and you sue him, would someone finally be liable?
5. Would he contest Motion to Lift Stay and why not? Ask him what is this animal?
6. Would he do reaffirmation of your secured debts or leave you alone at the mercy of Bankruptcy judges where you be wandering like a sheep in the desert or a rudderless ship in the ocean?
7. Would he do redemption from your creditors?
8. Would he answer continuous barrage of letters from your secured and unsecured creditors, know how to reject or reaffirm contracts, knows the difference between various schedules like Schedule A, b, c, d, e, f, i, j, k etc. If not, what good he would be?
9. Would he be helpful in filing an adversary proceeding for you, or defend against you. Simply speaking does he know anything about adversary proceeding?
10. In case of Chapter 13 Plan, is he knowledgeable enough to file a plan, change a plan, and defend you against all kinds of trustee’s objections.
11. Believe me, I had seen trustee yelling at them all the time for not doing enough, not educating their clients, not differentiating the difference between chapter 7 and chapter 13.
12. Finally, find out if they really have a physical location, and how good their office look like. It is not some shingle which may collapse in the strong winds? Do they really pay rent, and how on earth can pay for telephone, malpractice insurance, premises liability, workmen compensation and business and state license and still can be dirt cheap? Is this not a mystery of our time?
And many more reasons aside from above, I strongly suggest stay away from these cheap production mills and cheap bankruptcy offices and meet and find someone who really do a quality work for you because a bankruptcy has very wide and long term implications.